Finance & Commerce
September 17, 2019
By Brian Johnson
Peter Bruce has seen some big changes in the heart of Minneapolis since launching his first Building Community Exhibition, an annual display of downtown development projects.
Two stadiums, oodles of new homes and offices, a revamped Nicollet Mall and much more have changed the downtown landscape since that first event came to the IDS Center Crystal Court 20 years ago.
Some of the changes aren’t quite as obvious.
Bruce, a pedestrian studies consultant for property owners and other clients, observed among other things that Minneapolis has become more “walkable” in recent years.
With projects such as the RBC Gateway, a 34-story, mixed-use office and hotel tower under construction at 30 Third St. S., downtown is “getting closer to the riverfront in terms of walkability,” Bruce said. “You don’t have to go past a half-mile of vacant blocks.”
The 20th annual Building Community Exhibition is coming Thursday and Friday to the IDS Crystal Court, 701 Nicollet Mall. Free and open to the public, the exhibition runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.
Bruce estimates the event will attract about 1,000 visitors.
Twenty new buildings, including apartments, offices and hotels, will be on display. Topics range from “locations of food carts and activities” on Nicollet Mall to “walking times” from East Town to Nicollet Mall.
Experts in development, design and community planning will give five-minute talks starting at noon. Bruce will round out the exhibition with a presentation on “20 years of change” in downtown Minneapolis.
Other speakers include Tom Fisher, director of the Minnesota Design Center; Steve Fletcher, Third Ward City Council Member; Eric Amel, MSR Design architect; Chris Palkowitsch, associate partner, BKV Group; and Ben Shardlow, director of urban design, Minneapolis Downtown Council.